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G7 Leaders Seek to ‘De-Risk, Not Decouple’ From China

The G7 joint statement is not hostile and nothing in it should come as a surprise to China, given the concerns of G7 members are “well known” to Beijing, a US official said

The Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations want to "de-risk, not decouple" from China, a senior US official said on Saturday.
From left: US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend a meeting during the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 19, 2023. Photo: Brendan Smialowski, pool via Reuters.


The Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations want to “de-risk, not decouple” from China, a senior US official said on Saturday.

G7 leaders will issue a statement on a shared approach on plans to cooperate with China while also addressing significant concerns about a range of areas, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the G7 leaders planned to outline steps to protect sensitive technology, including outbound investment measures, in their joint statement or communique.

“The communique will note that each country has its own independent relationship and approach, but we are united and aligned around a set of common elements,” Sullivan told reporters at the summit in Hiroshima, Japan.


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‘No surprises – the issues are well-known’

Sullivan said nothing in the G7 joint statement should come as a surprise to China, given that the concerns of G7 members were “well known” to Beijing.

“I think you will find the China language to be totally straightforward. It is not hostile or gratuitous. It is just direct and candid,” Sullivan said, adding that the statement emerged after intensive consultations with G7 partners in recent years.

He said the United States expected economic engagement to continue with China, but was still working through the timing regarding planned phone calls, visits and meetings for various administration officials with their Chinese counterparts.

In an early draft of the final communique, seen by Reuters, G7 leaders agreed that China’s status as the world’s second-largest economy necessitated efforts to foster cooperation.

“Our policy approaches are not designed to harm China, we do not seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development,” said the draft, which is still subject to change, calling for “stable and constructive” ties with Beijing.

G7 leaders gather after laying wreaths in Hiroshima, May 19, 2023 (summit website photo).

‘Common tools to address economic coercion’

Sullivan said G7 leaders would outline a common set of tools to address economic coercion, including steps to build more resilient supply chains and efforts to protect sensitive technologies through export controls and outbound investment measures.

Each country would determine its own approach, he said.

The United States had been working to develop the legal authorities for a targeted set of outbound investment controls and would lay out its approach after “full consultations” with G7 partners, Sullivan said.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard


NOTE: A minor change was made to the headline of this report and a photo added on May 20, 2023.




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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